Bob Mould is an American singer-songwriter, DJ, producer, and the author of an autobigraphy, See a Little Light: The Trail of Rage and Melody (Little, Brown, 2011). He has slept on more floors than he can remember. He has flown in Lear jets producing live TV pro wrestling. He has performed in halls across the world: Carnegie, Royal Albert, Disney, and dozens of VFW. Mould is currently living vehicle-free in San Francisco.
In place of a more traditional year-end best-of list, Talkhouse has asked some of our favorite artists to choose their favorite album of 2018 and tell us all about it.
—The Talkhouse Team
There were a handful of records I thought were really cool this year, but the one I was most excited to hear was the new Interpol, Marauder. It’s a band that I’ve loved since the get-go; the first record is obviously so influential. But over the course of the 2000s, getting to see them a bunch and getting to know them as a people, especially Sam—we’re pretty good friends, I know him real well. I’ve always stuck with them through the different periods, and was super excited about this record. I knew what was coming. I saw them in Berlin maybe two summers ago, and then hung out with Sam after the show, and he said they were getting ready to make a record—the first record they were doing with somebody outside the band as a full producer. He told me it was Dave Fridmann, and I was like, “That sounds perfect.” I was a big Mercury Rev fan as well.
When I heard “The Rover,” which they led with, I was knocked out by it. It just sounded perfect. It brought back all of the urgency. They’re sort of a precise band, but I like when it frays a little bit. The record had a lot of precision but a lot of frayed edges, too. I was like, “Yes, this sounds like a band, in a room, making a record.”
I gave every record of theirs a couple listens, and I never heard a song I didn’t have time for. I don’t know if you saw this press conference that they did in Mexico City. Halfway through when the guy busts in and kisses Paul Banks on the head… I know the fellow was an actor friend of theirs, but when the next video came up with this actor going through Mexico City—one of which was breaking up this press conference… That’s pretty genius storytelling right there. That’s a nice detail that I think is missing in a lot of contemporary music, as far as telling stories. Their ethic and their presentation is very consistent. They’re very stylized—black, white, red. The suits. The precision. Their style is very cool. In this day and age a lot of artists are really hell bent on shape-shifting, because that’s the short-attention-span way to an audience. I like bands that have a look and a feel that they stay with. And it’s a great record.
As told to Josh Modell.